The rapid progression of e-commerce in India has led to a great rise in expectation from consumers. E-commerce store owners have to attract consumers by offering them a number of incentives. One of these is free shipping as consumers now expect free shipping in every purchase they make. If it sounds like a major cost which has to be borne, you must remember that the country is still nascent when it comes to e-commerce consumption. Consumers must have reasons to make a purchase, and not go away; which is what is likely to happen if they see a store which charges for shipping. It is not a major dilemma, but a hindrance which can be easily resolved. You can keep your shipping efficiency intact and yet not suffer a major loss. Here are five ways in which you can reduce your overall shipping costs.
1. Keep On Reviewing Your Cost
E-commerce shipping involves many costs such as insurance, fuel surcharge, delivery cost, packaging cost, etc. You must have a comprehensive delivery and packaging cost management system that can help in setting prices so that the shipping cost can be absorbed. Make sure you have a team who understand the cost of your shipping as well as the overall business costs. They must carefully plan for contingencies and ad hoc costs. This will help in determining how you can navigate your way around minimizing your shipping costs, and are never in a position where a particular overhead cost shoots up and it needs to be compensated with the free shipping cost.
2. Negotiate With Multiple Shipping Carriers
Many companies underestimate the strength of negotiation. It is a fact that the more you ship, the more discounts you get offered, thanks to a constantly increasing volume. However it is also true that reaching out to multiple courier services is not harmful, but can be turned to your advantage. You are in a position to constantly compare rates and change your negotiation pitch accordingly.
3. Control The Packaging Size
Some shipping companies use the process of comparing the actual weight vs. dimensional weight to analyze the cost. Let us understand the importance of this practice. Dimensional cost is determined by multiplying the length, breadth, and height of the package. The bigger packages take more space in the shipping container. The dimensional cost of the package is more than its actual weight cost. Small packaging can be a key to saving in the shipping cost as it will reduce both actual weight and dimensional cost of the packet.
4. Choose The Best Packaging
It is not necessary to have expensive packaging material for all goods. Once you identify an appropriate material for your packaging, you can reduce costs by only purchasing that material and wasting your resources on the others.
You must remember than certain products are fragile and need layers of protection, which you cannot compromise on. Yes, it might seem tempting to pay less for their packaging but if they are harmed in the journey, the cost of returns will be a multiple of the cost of safe packaging. Here, it is important to note that there are many packaging material suppliers who do offer a discount for bulk purchases. A long standing deal with them could have many benefits for you.
5. Leverage Technology
Use of modern shipping technology can help an average e-commerce owner save big on the shipping cost. You must invest on elements like shipping labels, shipment tracking, and delivery software, etc. to improve efficiency and bring down the overall shipping cost. Many shipping companies offer comprehensive technology packages at very affordable rates.
These techniques will ensure that the shipping stays a part of your long term planning and its efficiency is not compromised. Constantly working on these techniques will not only make your shipping more effective and efficient, but also more cost effective and you can easily reduce shipping costs without compromising on the rest of your operations.